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by John Ashmore
25 October 2016
UK Government to announce decision on Heathrow Airport expansion today

UK Government to announce decision on Heathrow Airport expansion today

Heathrow Airport - Image credit: Heathrow Airport

The UK Transport Secretary will today announce the UK Government's plans for airport expansion, with a new runway at Heathrow thought to be the most likely option.

Chris Grayling will inform MPs of the long-awaited decision at 12.30pm following meetings of the UK Government's sub-committee on aviation and a full Cabinet meeting.

The options on the table include a new runway at either Heathrow or Gatwick, or extending one of Heathrow's existing runways.

The review of airport capacity led by Sir Howard Davies, which reported last year, came down strongly in favour of a third runway at the west London hub. 

Writing in the Daily Telegraph yesterday, Sir Howard said the case for Heathrow expansion was now "overwhelming". 

He criticised ministers for delaying making a decision, saying: "The arguments for making a decision now, and for Heathrow, have strengthened in recent months.

“Overseas, the lack of a decision is seen as a symbol of Britain’s inability to decide on its future as a trading nation."

The political dimensions of opting for a third runway at Heathrow have complicated matters for the Government, with several high-profile Conservatives opposed to the plan.

They include Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Education Secretary Justine Greening and former mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, who has pledged to hold a by-election in his Richmond Park constituency if ministers go ahead with a third runway.

Theresa May has already said ministers with "longstanding previously set out positions "will be free to dissent from the Government's position, although they cannot campaign openly against it.

"It reflects the mature way the Prime Minister is approaching this recognising there are a number of ministers with long held views that have been set out," a Downing Street spokesperson said yesterday.

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